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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » Variants

Subject: House Rules rss

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Dave the Knave
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I think there is a great game here that just needs a little tweaking. Particularly in some of the areas that were changes after the KS campaign ended (new ships and new shield rule). There are also a few that are just my preference. Here are my house rules I will be using. Trying them out tomorrow, I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

I want to thank Rav and everyone else on here posting ideas that are either partially or completely represented here. Hope everyone is having fun

Game beginning (Otherwise there is a small chance you can get stranded and have nowhere to go).
-Must get one neutral/lawful planet in opening system.

Game ending (This just makes sense. Removes 1st player advantage).
-Game ends once all players have had an equal number of turns (a la puerto rico) this way the player who goes 1st does not have an advantage. Reaching the FP goal simply makes this the last round (go until the 5th player has had a turn). Tie breakers with titles, then money.

Shields (Too overpowered, this change makes them more expensive so defenders have to think harder about how much to power shields).
-During defense from an attack, shields cost one additional energy for each activation. i.e. powering 1 shield for defense costs 1 energy, 2 shields costs 3 energy, and 3 shields costs 6 energy. This only applies when combining shield activations for one defense from an attack. It does not apply to hazards as those armed markers are taking up part of the player's turn of 4 armed markers.

EDIT: I tested this out and it worked great. Shields were still very powerful so definitely does not go too far, but this made people think twice about powering 3 times which is perfect.

Sectors (This prevents a lame "best" trade strategy).
-Planets with a buy/sell link cannot be next to one another.

EDIT: We a consensus replaced this rule with. "You cannot get fame points for the same trade route twice in a row." This is also a good solution and it doesn't interfere with exploration.

Death (Losing a turn is a terrible mechanic, losing FP is a similar setback without the downtime).
-When you die for any reason, lose FP equal to your ship's tier minus 1.

Intentional Death (If you die while running from or chasing someone, the other pilot should get fame. This prevents people from killing themselves just to prevent you from getting FP and it is a fun rule).
-If a ship attacks or is attacked, it is considered to "be engaged" with the most recent attacker/defender during the following turn. If either ship dies for any reason (even hazards) the fame points are credited to the other engaged ships.

Cargo (prevents lame trading exploit and the clunky rule that won't let lawful people get FP while carrying multiple kinds of cargo without jettisoning it and picking it back up).
-Must sell as much cargo in hold as possible in a given sell space, get +1FP if 2+ cargo is sold.
-You cannot pick up cargo you jettisoned

Ships
-Nightshade should get a 5th hull spot in the center column. As it is printed originally, it has the smallest hold, the worst ability, and middle of the road energy. I think this small boost in hull size makes it much more viable. This needs a change or it will never be used.

Abilities (These were either underpowered or overpowered).
-Manchester's ability is changed from "per cube" to "per FP earned trading" and the credit bonus is doubled.
-Nightshade's ability can target any ship in same sector and does NOT reset every turn (cloned abilities can be used indefinitely until another ability is cloned).
-Persistent Memory's ability has a range of 6 (pulls Persistent Memory to be adjacent, then follow rules as normal)
-Slow Leak's ability CAN push people into unexplored sectors (why not? the whole point is to push them into hazards).
-Long Haul's ability gets 2d6 blasters. (You are rarely going to send it to a planet (maybe makes sense for outlaw planets) as you probably want to recharge energy, so basically it does missions and attacks. This makes it closer to the other tier 3 attack abilities).

Bounty (I think there should be some way to pay off your bounty if you want to).
-You can pay half your bounty (rounded up) to remove it at any outlaw planet during the business phase.
-If your bounty ever reaches 5,000 credits gain 1 FP.
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I like most of these! (for good reason)

Increasing the expense of shields really will make people think twice about using the full 3 shields, which would block most any attack.

Nightshade did seem really weak, in that the cloned power had to be used right away. Keeping it around for awhile would make it much more interesting.

The death mechanic still means no negative for tier1 ships, same as the book's rule. People keep talking about "Lol suicide in the sun who cares" as a valid tier1 tactic, so it'd be nice if there were some negative to tier1 deaths, but not a turn loss of course.

One idea I had today was instead of a full turn loss... maybe half a turn? What I mean is, you respawn with 2 armed markers instead of the full 4. You still get a turn, but it's not much of one. No other negative to it. What do you think?
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Jeremy Steward
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I like these quite a bit.

I think making shields cost more energy when used in combat is best way to go when tweaking them from a design standpoint. It is simple and I think will work well.

Sectors - I get that 2 planets together (that have match buy/sell points) is troublesome. At the starting setup, I will redraw if it happens but during the game it is awkward to do that imo. In my games, explorers and freelancers will specifically scan in locations to try to place planets in locations not great for traders.
I am considering some kinda of simple mechanic to discourage always selling the same type of good to represent supply and demand. Maybe something like, when you sell goods, place a cube of that type onto your ship mat (not on the ship, just on the board), you can no longer gain FP from selling that type of good. When you sell a different type of good, the new cube type replaces the old.

I personally have no issue with the turn loss on death. Shrugs.

I have also considered a house rule along the same lines of your "Intentional" rule, where if a ship is destroyed by another player - any other players who damaged the destroyed ship on their last turn gains 1 fp.

The ship ability changes are spot on imo.
 
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Andrew Ronzino
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I absolutely LOVE the look of the Nightshade! It's a cool ship, but you're right about it being just kind of okay when it comes to the hold and energy.

Ravendas wrote:
Nightshade did seem really weak, in that the cloned power had to be used right away. Keeping it around for awhile would make it much more interesting.


I used to think this too. I was thinking to myself, "the Nightshade is so cool looking, but it's ability is lame." That is, until I finally used it. I held off on choosing the Nightshade because there were better ships I wanted to try. *Ahem*ColdPhenoix*ahem*. But when I did try the Nightshade, I found myself in a pickle that I couldn't get out of, the ability to copy someone else's power was very useful. The guy I did it to didn't expect it because he forgot about the ability. It was great.

However, I also wish you could keep it longer than one turn. Maybe keep it as long as you want and use it so long as you have the energy to do so, and when you get to a planet to refill your energy, it'll erase the copy of the ability. This way, if they're coping a Tier III ability, they can only have it until they refill their energy. Just a thought. Maybe it's worth a try.
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Dave the Knave
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But nightshade is a tier 3 ability, so it can't be overpowered to let it use other tier 3 abilities.
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M M
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It might make sense to house-rule that if you complete a mission and draw 3 new missions from that same spot, any mission that has the first objective for that spot requires it to be redrawn.

It's not totally broken but it shades on that side of the line.
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Dave the Knave
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Ravendas wrote:

The death mechanic still means no negative for tier1 ships, same as the book's rule. People keep talking about "Lol suicide in the sun who cares" as a valid tier1 tactic, so it'd be nice if there were some negative to tier1 deaths, but not a turn loss of course.

One idea I had today was instead of a full turn loss... maybe half a turn? What I mean is, you respawn with 2 armed markers instead of the full 4. You still get a turn, but it's not much of one. No other negative to it. What do you think?


I do actually agree with the original rule that tier 1 ships have no penalty. In my game last night one person died before even getting a turn! It was ok because they got no penalty.

The half turn idea is interesting. I think it is a little more complex than the FP rule. For me I'd still rather let people play more.
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Barry Siebenthall
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deepfreeze wrote:
Ravendas wrote:

The death mechanic still means no negative for tier1 ships, same as the book's rule. People keep talking about "Lol suicide in the sun who cares" as a valid tier1 tactic, so it'd be nice if there were some negative to tier1 deaths, but not a turn loss of course.

One idea I had today was instead of a full turn loss... maybe half a turn? What I mean is, you respawn with 2 armed markers instead of the full 4. You still get a turn, but it's not much of one. No other negative to it. What do you think?


I do actually agree with the original rule that tier 1 ships have no penalty. In my game last night one person died before even getting a turn! It was ok because they got no penalty.

The half turn idea is interesting. I think it is a little more complex than the FP rule. For me I'd still rather let people play more.


What to led a player getting killed before their first turn? I know it's possible, I am just curious.
 
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Dave the Knave
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Baraiha wrote:

What to led a player getting killed before their first turn? I know it's possible, I am just curious.


I flew up to him in my swamp rat with d8 blasters and blew him out of the sky.
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Zom Bee
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deepfreeze wrote:
Baraiha wrote:

What to led a player getting killed before their first turn? I know it's possible, I am just curious.


I flew up to him in my swamp rat with d8 blasters and blew him out of the sky.


He had no shields I assume? Without shields it's quite possible on 2d8 to do 10+ damage...but with 2d6 shields against, it would have been a lot less likely to be deadly.

Still a big setback to even have damage before you start - especially if you spent it all on outfits. You'd have to sell one just to repair - or kill yourself to respawn.

I wouldn't recommend this tactic against a first time player unless you want a very sulky player for the rest of the game. However once everyone is up to speed...why not. Just remember that you might not be first player the next game and fair's fair. :-)
 
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Jeremy Steward
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Been thinking about your Nightshade fix.

I think making the copied ability permanent (until you choose to overwrite it) is definitely the way to go. However, I am thinking you should still be adjacent to copy.

Adding the extra hold helps a bit but not much because an odd number of empty hold points isn't very helpful for buying/selling. 15 hold points does allow for a T3 engine, T2 shield and 6 hold which is something. The extra space also allows for the offensive build of a D12 blaster, d12 engine, and d8 shield (before you would only be able to get a d6 shield).

The thing is tho, even with the above changes, it will never be as good of a fighter as Slow Leak or even Constant Sorrow (who is completely outclassed by Slow Leak). It will never be as good of a trader as Manchester or Long Haul. Both fighters and traders need lots of hold spaces (for different reasons), even at 15 hold, Nightshade is inadequate.
The only legitimate use I can see for Nightshade is as a freelancer (missions) where you copy wormhole ripper from Cold Phoenix and then actually have better ship than he does. (Cold Phoenix cannot equip a d12 shield for example). It's niche, but better than placemat quality like it is at current.

I feel like Tier 3 was a really big letdown in terms of balance. 1 ship is Rediculously op, 2 are strong, 2 are outclassed, and 1 is garbage.
Your changes do do alot to making the choice between Long Haul and Manchester more meaningful as a trader (Tho I feel like Manchester is still superior). I don't know what do about Constant Sorrow as the reasons it is completely outclassed by Slow Leak have nothing to do with the 2 abilities (Slow Leak has more hold, a WAY better hold layout, higher impulse, and higher energy). And as I said above, Nightshade can work as a freelancer, but it would have been nice it there would be a real choice between this and Cold Phoenix.
 
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Kevin Gange
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The house rule for respawn that we use is that you respawn on the next turn with full energy, but you subtract your ships tier from the number of activation markers you get. So a tier 1 ship gets to have 3, a tier 2 ship 2, and a tier 3 ship only gets one, and re-arming markers that turn is free. This means a tier 3 ship will get almost no turn, while I tier 1 ship gets most of their turn. The reason they get a free activation is that way on their next turn they are not disadvantaged by having less energy.
 
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Kevin Gange
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Another house rule we came up with last game was as follows:

1. You cannot save a ship that was stranded due to defending from your attacks.

2. You cannot attack a ship that you have saved until they have been able to re-fill energy.

The reason was for both flavor and practical reasons. One of our players attacked a ship and left it stranded. He then rescued the ship, earning a FP for kindness, and then proceeded his next turn to destroy the crippled ship, earning 3 FP for destroying a tier 3 ship. It did not make sense that he could get a fame point for rescuing a ship he stranded himself, then proceeded to destroy.
 
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Caveman0115 wrote:
Another house rule we came up with last game was as follows:

1. You cannot save a ship that was stranded due to defending from your attacks.

2. You cannot attack a ship that you have saved until they have been able to re-fill energy.

The reason was for both flavor and practical reasons. One of our players attacked a ship and left it stranded. He then rescued the ship, earning a FP for kindness, and then proceeded his next turn to destroy the crippled ship, earning 3 FP for destroying a tier 3 ship. It did not make sense that he could get a fame point for rescuing a ship he stranded himself, then proceeded to destroy.


I have a similar one written down. Just "Can't get an fP from destroying a ship you helped save, and you can't get a fP for saving a stranded ship that you attacked. Both conditions reset once the ship lands at a planet."

Luckily, my groups are nice enough that it hasn't come up yet.
 
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aaron belmer
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We have most definitely deleted the 'lose turn(s)' rule from the game, too harsh and no fun.

We discussed the losing fp as well instead.

In the end, we just want people to keep playing. So if you're tier 2-3 and die, you lose all your money for sure. everyone agreed on it, and it did seem a hair light though. Based on this discussion, maybe:

Tier 2: lose all money and two action markers
Tier 3: lose all money and three action markers


Out of all the suggestions, i love the using energy to power shields. Balances them a bit and really just makes sense mechanically.
 
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Jeff Lozito
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deepfreeze wrote:

Shields (Too overpowered, this change makes them more expensive so defenders have to think harder about how much to power shields).
-During defense from an attack, shields cost one additional energy for each activation. i.e. powering 1 shield for defense costs 1 energy, 2 shields costs 3 energy, and 3 shields costs 6 energy. This only applies when combining shield activations for one defense from an attack. It does not apply to hazards as those armed markers are taking up part of the player's turn of 4 armed markers.


I'm assuming that the use of energy to power shields is in addition to using the the activation marker.

Which would mean that using the shield three times would require using / spending 3 activation tokens plus 6 energy. Is this correct?

 
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Craig C
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Lots of good ideas here. I've only played twice, but both games have shown some of the tweaks that need to be made, including the OP close trade route, shield mods and tweaks to some of the ship abilities.

We'll try your "extra energy" mod next time, because combat seems pretty tough without it. How would it apply to fighting NPCs, since they have a seemingly limitless supply of energy?

Another thought we had is limiting the amount of times you can get FP from certain actions. Last night, I rolled a natural 20 three times and would've jumped from 6 to 9 FP (playing to 10), but we decided to only award FP once per player for that.

The same principle could be used for OP trade routes, if you only award FP once for each particular cube color. So if you trade green and get a FP, put a green cube next to your ship card as a reminder that you can't get further FP for that color.

It also seems to us that Cold Phoenix's jump drive ability is overpowered. Both games have ended when the first player upgraded to Tier 3, bought that ship, and then hopped all over the system with ease, racking up FP. Anyone else had that experience?
 
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aaron belmer
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bird94us wrote:
Lots of good ideas here. I've only played twice, but both games have shown some of the tweaks that need to be made, including the OP close trade route, shield mods and tweaks to some of the ship abilities.

We'll try your "extra energy" mod next time, because combat seems pretty tough without it. How would it apply to fighting NPCs, since they have a seemingly limitless supply of energy?

Another thought we had is limiting the amount of times you can get FP from certain actions. Last night, I rolled a natural 20 three times and would've jumped from 6 to 9 FP (playing to 10), but we decided to only award FP once per player for that.

The same principle could be used for OP trade routes, if you only award FP once for each particular cube color. So if you trade green and get a FP, put a green cube next to your ship card as a reminder that you can't get further FP for that color.

It also seems to us that Cold Phoenix's jump drive ability is overpowered. Both games have ended when the first player upgraded to Tier 3, bought that ship, and then hopped all over the system with ease, racking up FP. Anyone else had that experience?


The rolling 20 part is actually already in the rules, you can only gain a fp once per turn from luck.
 
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Kip Kwiatkowski
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deepfreeze wrote:

Game beginning (Otherwise there is a small chance you can get stranded and have nowhere to go).
-Must get one neutral/lawful planet in opening system.


Not a big deal to me, it encourages exploration.

deepfreeze wrote:

Game ending (This just makes sense. Removes 1st player advantage).
-Game ends once all players have had an equal number of turns (a la puerto rico) this way the player who goes 1st does not have an advantage. Reaching the FP goal simply makes this the last round (go until the 5th player has had a turn). Tie breakers with titles, then money.


Due to the randomness of dice rolls, missions, and tiles being laid, The only advantage Player 1 has is the first crack at a better ship.

deepfreeze wrote:

Shields (Too overpowered, this change makes them more expensive so defenders have to think harder about how much to power shields).
-During defense from an attack, shields cost one additional energy for each activation. i.e. powering 1 shield for defense costs 1 energy, 2 shields costs 3 energy, and 3 shields costs 6 energy. This only applies when combining shield activations for one defense from an attack. It does not apply to hazards as those armed markers are taking up part of the player's turn of 4 armed markers.

EDIT: I tested this out and it worked great. Shields were still very powerful so definitely does not go too far, but this made people think twice about powering 3 times which is perfect.


We found an easier solution. You can't stack attacks or defence. 1 roll of the die is therefore blocked by one roll of the shield die. It kind of even makes sense since the shield blocks each attack individually.

deepfreeze wrote:

Sectors (This prevents a lame "best" trade strategy).
-Planets with a buy/sell link cannot be next to one another.

EDIT: We a consensus replaced this rule with. "You cannot get fame points for the same trade route twice in a row." This is also a good solution and it doesn't interfere with exploration.


We've also never had a problem with this. Once someone gets too far ahead usually someone hunts them down.

deepfreeze wrote:

Death (Losing a turn is a terrible mechanic, losing FP is a similar setback without the downtime).
-When you die for any reason, lose FP equal to your ship's tier minus 1.


*shrug*

deepfreeze wrote:

Intentional Death (If you die while running from or chasing someone, the other pilot should get fame. This prevents people from killing themselves just to prevent you from getting FP and it is a fun rule).
-If a ship attacks or is attacked, it is considered to "be engaged" with the most recent attacker/defender during the following turn. If either ship dies for any reason (even hazards) the fame points are credited to the other engaged ships.


If using your above rule it lowers your fame, which is kind of like giving everybody else fame.


deepfreeze wrote:

Cargo (prevents lame trading exploit and the clunky rule that won't let lawful people get FP while carrying multiple kinds of cargo without jettisoning it and picking it back up).
-Must sell as much cargo in hold as possible in a given sell space, get +1FP if 2+ cargo is sold.
-You cannot pick up cargo you jettisoned


We played with that sell rule naturally, I didn't even consider that it was an option till now.


deepfreeze wrote:

Bounty (I think there should be some way to pay off your bounty if you want to).
-You can pay half your bounty (rounded up) to remove it at any outlaw planet during the business phase.
-If your bounty ever reaches 5,000 credits gain 1 FP.


Our solution was to pay double your bounty at a Neutral planet. It doesn't really make sense to do it at an outlaw one as it really isn't affiliated with the Lawful planets which would thematically set the bounty, and entering an Outlaw planetary entrance CAUSES a bounty for "associating with outlaws" paying a fine ther is technically the same thing. And paying double is a good penalty for incurring one.

The need for the 5,000 bounty for a FP isn't needed as there is a Title that does that.

Additional Home Rule:

- Attacking an innocent ship causes 1,000 bounty (rules only state that DESTROYING it causes bounty). Too many of our games had the Slow Leak's operator (...me...) using it's ability to push other people off of Sell or Buy spots, or pushing people through asteroid fields or planetary shields where they'd waste movement to go around.

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Craig C
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zenmazster wrote:
The rolling 20 part is actually already in the rules, you can only gain a fp once per turn from luck.


True. We're thinking about changing it to once per game, instead of once per turn.

The first game, three of us played for 3 hours and never rolled a 20, and then I rolled three of them myself in game 2. Only gaining FP from that once in a game seems fair.
 
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bird94us wrote:
zenmazster wrote:
The rolling 20 part is actually already in the rules, you can only gain a fp once per turn from luck.


True. We're thinking about changing it to once per game, instead of once per turn.

The first game, three of us played for 3 hours and never rolled a 20, and then I rolled three of them myself in game 2. Only gaining FP from that once in a game seems fair.


In D&D I exploded a demigod's chest, while being a level 8 fighter, by rolling 5 20s in a row.

Just because you get lucky sometimes doesn't mean you always will. Every person has the same chance to roll a 20. Thematically rolling a 20 is represented by doing something absolutely legendary, like the stories of some average person lifting a car to save a child.

You can tell that the designer has some PnPRPGs in his background.
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kgk4569 wrote:
deepfreeze wrote:

Game ending (This just makes sense. Removes 1st player advantage).
-Game ends once all players have had an equal number of turns (a la puerto rico) this way the player who goes 1st does not have an advantage. Reaching the FP goal simply makes this the last round (go until the 5th player has had a turn). Tie breakers with titles, then money.


Due to the randomness of dice rolls, missions, and tiles being laid, The only advantage Player 1 has is the first crack at a better ship.


I just had a "DUH!" moment. To mitigate the Player 1 advantage of choosing a ship first, choose Spawn points in reverse order. Normally they are assigned, which is luck of the draw, this way the last player MAY get a crappy ship, but They might get a great spawn point.
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Aaron Bredon
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kgk4569 wrote:
kgk4569 wrote:
deepfreeze wrote:

Game ending (This just makes sense. Removes 1st player advantage).
-Game ends once all players have had an equal number of turns (a la puerto rico) this way the player who goes 1st does not have an advantage. Reaching the FP goal simply makes this the last round (go until the 5th player has had a turn). Tie breakers with titles, then money.


Due to the randomness of dice rolls, missions, and tiles being laid, The only advantage Player 1 has is the first crack at a better ship.


I just had a "DUH!" moment. To mitigate the Player 1 advantage of choosing a ship first, choose Spawn points in reverse order. Normally they are assigned, which is luck of the draw, this way the last player MAY get a crappy ship, but They might get a great spawn point.


You do realize that the first player to choose a ship is the last player to have a turn, right?
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abredon wrote:

You do realize that the first player to choose a ship is the last player to have a turn, right?


Wow! never saw that little bit of bold print on the first page.
 
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abredon wrote:
kgk4569 wrote:
kgk4569 wrote:
deepfreeze wrote:

Game ending (This just makes sense. Removes 1st player advantage).
-Game ends once all players have had an equal number of turns (a la puerto rico) this way the player who goes 1st does not have an advantage. Reaching the FP goal simply makes this the last round (go until the 5th player has had a turn). Tie breakers with titles, then money.


Due to the randomness of dice rolls, missions, and tiles being laid, The only advantage Player 1 has is the first crack at a better ship.


I just had a "DUH!" moment. To mitigate the Player 1 advantage of choosing a ship first, choose Spawn points in reverse order. Normally they are assigned, which is luck of the draw, this way the last player MAY get a crappy ship, but They might get a great spawn point.


You do realize that the first player to choose a ship is the last player to have a turn, right?
Yup, but as last player you get stuck with a crappy ship, and generally you spawn at the closest sector to you. Which means you could get a bad ship AND spawn in a location unsuited to your play style (such as an asteroid or debris field that you have to take time to maneuver around, or a nebula, or Loath.)
 
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